My mom has a big old trunk full of costumes and dress-ups at her house, and for many of her grandchildren it has been the source of much pleasure over the years. Not everyone is so fortunate, and may be limited in their dressing-up opportunities. This is not a problem for Valencians–they know how to dress up, and they do it with class.
In various places on the web I’ve seen the typical clothing worn during las Fallas described as medieval. I guess that’s a cautionary tale about the need for internet skepticism. I’m not a fashion historian, but such an assessment is several centuries off. The dresses worn by the women are generally 18th century styles. There may be more of a range in the men’s clothing, with some folks looking aristocratic and some leaning toward the peasant-smock end of the spectrum, but whichever it is, it seems to fall in the same time period.
Regardless of where the clothing is located on a historical timeline, this time of year it has been located on many hundreds of people, at any time of day or night over more than a week, and all over the city, not just in official parades. We’ve seen families all dressed up, with costumed parents pushing their costumed kids in strollers lined with matching brocade. And we’ve seen the hybrid falleras who have changed from their lovely dresses into jeans and hoodies, but with the classic elaborate coiffures and hair adornments (Adreç in Valencian) still meticulously in place. I imagine there’s enough hairspray involved to make them nearly invulnerable.
Costumes make everything more fun!
(All photos here taken by El Guapo. Here is a link to some great photos that I really enjoyed of young Valencians in costume .)